Volume 18, Number 2, June, 2000


Are you a voter?

This isn't a question you necessarily expect to read in a libertarian publication. While the movement does support the Libertarian party, it also supports the largest (and perhaps the only) principled nonvoting block in the United States today. A libertarian audience cannot be expected to take voting as the automatic badge of civic virtue that other groups consider it to be.

But it all depends on what your vote is deciding. With this year's Prometheus Awards drawing close, it seems worth considering the case for becoming a voting member of the Libertarian Futurist Society for next year.

This year's nominees are certainly a strong argument for doing so. We have a very strong field of contenders this year; several of the nominees would clearly deserve the victory hands down in any normal year, and which one to put first has been a hard choice for many of us. Both Stephenson's Cryptonomicon and Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky have made finals for this year's Hugo Award—an unusually good reception for novels with strong libertarian aspects

It's also worth noting that the Prometheus Award carries some weight. Publishers of many novels send copies to our judges; publishers of the finalists almost always send copies to all our advisory members. That benefit in itself is worth the price of admission. But in addition, it shows that publishers recognize the value of putting "Prometheus Award winner" on a dust jacket—that there are readers out there who will take your opinion into account in deciding whether to buy a new book.

As a voluntary society, the LFS perfectly fits Heinlein's criterion of equity: responsibility equals authority. You become a member by paying dues, which pay for the awards. In return you gain the right to participate in deciding who gets the awards. Basic members vote on the Hall of Fame award; advisory members also vote on the current award and receive copies of the current finalists

It's also worth noting that the power of your vote is relatively high, especially in choosing the recipient of the current year award; see the list of Advisory Members below if you want to know how high. Each individual vote really does make a difference in determining who is chosen.

If you would like to take part IN this process, send your payment to Victoria Varga at 89 Gebhardt Road, Penfield, New York 14526, made out to the Libertarian Futurist Society.

And if you haven't voted yet, and this newsletter reaches you before July 4—send in your vote!

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